Many automakers will face penalties in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The fines have nearly tripled from model years 2018 to 2019.
And they’ll go up again for 2022.
The math behind the fines is simple enough. Up until the 2018 model year, manufacturers had to pay $5.50, for every 0.1 MPG a new vehicle fell short of required fuel-economy standards. This amount would then be multiplied by the number of noncomplying vehicles sold. Now, it’s official, the $5.50 will rise to $14 starting from the 2019 model year.
As reported by Reuters, NHTSA said the decision “increases the accountability of manufacturers for violating the nation’s fuel economy standards” and the penalty increase “incentivizes manufacturers to make fuel economy improvements.”
This hike as of 2019 was planned under the Obama Administration however it was delayed while Trump was in power. But now, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reinstated the sharp increases in penalties and will augment them further for 2022.
As such, for automakers who sold non-complying vehicles between 2019 and 2021, they will have to pay $14 for every 0.1 MPG under the required figures and, for 2022 model year vehicles, $15 for every 0.1 MPG.
Tesla is the obvious winner following NHTSA’s new rules as Tesla will continue to be able to sell credits to non-complying companies. On the other hand, Stellantis could end up paying as much as $572 million in fines.